What is a charter school and how is it different than a private or other public school?
Charter schools are public schools. There is no tuition required. Charter schools are authorized and overseen by the State or a local District school board, but they have their own Board of Directors. Like other charter schools in Fort Collins, we have a lottery for admission.
Will there be school buses available to transport students to and from Compass?
For the most part, families are responsible for getting their children to and from school each day. We are located near public transportation (MAX) and bike routes so that students can get to school on their own. We will work with our families to arrange carpools from different parts of Fort Collins. Eventually, we plan to have a fleet of vans that are available to pick up students from various neighborhoods around town.
Will there be a dress code?
CCC will expect students to dress professionally during the school day. We will also provide all students with Compass tee shirts and polos that students will be expected to wear when they are working out in the community.
Will there be homework?
All students will be assigned weekly reading. Additionally, students will usually have work to do at home to move their learning ventures forward.
What are the benefits of multi-age grouping?
Adolescents are socially focused, learning best when they are happy, challenged, and socially engaged. By working in multi-age groups, younger students have more mature peer models, and older students are held accountable for being those positive role models. It is a natural, inspiring, and effective way for humans to work.
What are the hours of the school day?
All students and staff will be on campus for a minimum of seven hours per day. Student’s start and end time will be established with family at the beginning of each semester. Families may choose a 7:55a start time with a 3:15p end time, or a 8:40a start time with a 4p end time.
Will the academic calendar be the same as other schools in Fort Collins?
Yes, the academic calendar will be similar to others in Fort Collins. We generally follow the high school academic calendar of Poudre School District, however, check our website for each year's specific calendar.
How many students will the school have and what will the student to staff ratio be?
Compass is will grow to a little over 200 students and will maintain a staff to student ratio of less than 1:20 students. Most class sizes are about 22 students.
Graduation and College Admission
How will Compass High School ensure that students will have the opportunity go to a college or university of their choice?
Our curriculum is highly individualized so as to offer challenge and growth for every student. We build on strengths and interests, but also continually push students to try new things.
Students are tested two times a year (MAPS testing) to measure their growth, and all students are prepared for annual PARCC, CMAS, and for college entrance exams such as SAT tests.
Compass students take a college class as part of their graduation requirements. This may be an Advanced Placement course (a passing score on the AP test in May is required for college credit to be awarded) or a concurrent enrollment class at Compass that awards college credit through Front Range Community College (and is universally transferrable to other colleges). We believe that students need to experience a college course before they leave high school in order to be best prepared and feel confident in their skills to attend college.
Students will graduate with a web-based portfolio of work to demonstrate both their academic skills and their 21st Century skills mastery. They will also have a professional resume and a letter of reference from a professional with whom they completed an extensive job internship. All of these assets will help them get into a college or university of their choice, but more importantly, they are invaluable in demonstrating a student has the resiliency and persistence to successfully finish college with a degree.
Graduation requirements from Compass will ensure that each student has met at least one of the following criteria:
- Has been accepted into a college of their choice with a reasonable plan for payment
- Has been accepted into a gap year program with a reasonable plan for payment
- Has been hired for a self-sustaining job in which they will continue to grow and learn
- Has been accepted into an internship/apprenticeship, or certificate program of their choice
What standardized assessments will Compass students take?
Compass students will take all state required standardized assessments, including the SAT college entrance exam. In order to track academic growth, students will also be assessed two times a year in reading and mathematics using nationally standardized MAPS tests.
Do students get letter grades?
In our rapidly changing world, we believe that equipping students with the skills to be lifelong learners and positive change-makers is our number one job. Students will learn Colorado core content standards with the help of certified, highly-qualified teachers. However, they will learn these standards at different times, in a multitude of ways, throughout their years at Compass Community Collaborative School.In order to keep students from focusing on grades instead of learning, they will build a professional portfolio of their learning products and earn degrees within seven, skill areas. Ultimately, academic work will be assigned grades based on skill competency levels so that students will have transcripts for post-secondary life, but this is not be the primary, on-going form of feedback given to students.
How will Compass ensure student safety with all of the community collaborations?
Compass, like all schools, takes the safety of students very seriously. We use Advisory as a time to talk to students about safety protocols and we practice emergency drills twice per year.
All community mentors who work with students individually are required to get background checks. There is also training for our students and community partners about appropriate and professional expectations, including the need for all students to be in common spaces (where other people are around) when working with adults in or outside of our school building.
Middle school students must always travel with school staff, however, high school-age students may travel independently on public transportation to their satellite campuses and internships. Parents will sign a blanket permission slip at the beginning of each semester when the student designs their plan of learning with their Compass advisor to allow this travel and work outside of our school building. Parents will have contact information for the alternate learning locations.
How will students with identified special needs benefit from the Compass High School educational model?
Compass is individualized, competency-based and strengths-based . We believe all types of learners will benefit from our curriculum model, our culture of care, and our flexible start and end times for our school day. We will have one certified Special Education teacher on our staff. Please meet with us directly to consider your child’s needs and our available staffing so we can make the best placements possible.
Will Compass offer arts, music, and physical education? Will it have competitive sports teams?
We integrate arts, music, and PE, into our regular school week and students may start clubs with other students who share common interests. We do have a Robotics club, a Math Counts club, a Dance club, and a Dungeons and Dragons club and are open to other ideas as student interest dictates! We do not offer extracurricular competitive sports programs available at the other schools, however, as a PSD approved charter, students may arrange to return to their neighborhood school to try out and play on sports teams.
Are the teachers certified teachers in their subject areas?
Yes, Compass has highly qualified, Colorado certified teachers in English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, and Special Education. Our teachers are experienced professionals with proven track record of excellence in teaching and prosocial culture building with adolescents and peers. We also have specialized, non-certified teachers as staff and instructors at our school and in the community to widen the diversity of adults with whom students and staff may collaborate and learn.